Free Tech-Recipes T-Shirt Contest!

My friends over at Tech Recipes have announced a contest to win a free Tech Recipes T-shirt. All you have to do is be the first person to correctly answer some simple question…. about Einstein’s equivalence principle…. 

Here’s a picture I took of mine:

I posted about it before, I’ve already gotten my t-shirt from them… I’ve been wearing this shirt around town, and what a conversation starter it is! I’ve had tons of people come up and talk to me while wearing this shirt… not to mention smiles from some rather attractive humans of the female persuasion.

Beta Testers Needed! …. Punch and Pie.

I’m looking for just a couple of beta testers for a project I’m working on. I’m not going into details publicly this early in the game, although you can probably infer from the requirements.

I need people that are running Windows and use, hopefully extensively.

If you are interested and want more details, drop me a line at

Evolution of the Quick Reference Guides

I originally posted the Rails Quick Reference because I thought it could help some other people as well… but now I’ve realized that the person it helps the most is me. I’ve found myself consulting it more and more, so I decided to start creating quick reference guides for everything I work on.

There’s now a very basic Ubuntu Quick Reference guide that only contains a couple of items, but I still posted it because it’s a shell for me to improve.

I’ve also posted a Vim Quick Reference guide. Before you tell me, I know there are a ton of these guides out there on the net, but I wanted just the commands I need to use frequently, not a full guide to everything.


Ruby on Rails: Beautiful Charts Made Easy – using Flash with Rails RXML templates

I’m in the process of developing an application in Ruby on Rails, the main purpose of which is to collect information and output reports. One of the main requirements I was given was that we needed “cool looking reports with charts and stuff”. My job has been reduced to making stuff. Sigh. Moving on…

Having some past experience with reporting and charting, I immediately started cringing at the thought of the overload generating some of these reports place on the server. Creating a chart requires writing out images and either caching them or directly streaming them out to the browser…. which can place an undue strain on the server. To further complicate things, this application is going to be hosted by a regular provider, so I have to make sure that whatever provider I choose supports the image generation library I pick. Now I’m sad again.

Enter Flash Charts.


Google Desktop and Outlook aren’t getting along.

So, I’ve been troubleshooting a problem with my Google Desktop Search installation for a week now… GDS indexes my email perfectly, I can search and find whatever email I’m looking for… but when I click the “View in Outlook” link, it brings my Outlook window to the foreground and then just sits there and blinks at me.

Naturally, the first thing I did was attempt to find some answers on Google Groups, but all I found were more people with the same problem and not a decent answer as to why. The only thing they have is “Why are the toplinks not working”, which didn’t solve my problem at all.

After prying around for a long time, I finally figured out the problem… at some point I had run an antivirus software on my computer, and it must have blocked the outlook scripts from running. Sure enough, that was the case.

The problem was neatly solved by following the instructions on this microsoft link: You’ll want to check the “Checking the Automation Server” section of the KB article, and follow the instructions there.

I’m finally able to use GDS again!

Update (08/21/2006):

More information over on Google Groups